Ask Anita

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, is giving free advice to social and ethical businesses, courtesy of the British Library. Successful applicants will get personal guidance on product development and marketing. Dame Anita spoke as part of a lecture series on "Inspiring Entrepreneurs." She said that "in terms of influence you can forget the church and you can forget politics. There is no more powerful institution in our society than business, which is why I believe it is now more important than ever before, for business to assume a moral leadership." In an interview today, Dame Anita was more candid. When asked if she had sold out she said "I've done exactly what the original staff in The Body Shop would expect. I've sold the company, I've sold my shares and given my money away - that's exactly what the system was about." She denied that there had been any boycott or loss of sales or hypocrisy: "Why would I consider it hypocritical if I am allowed to do exactly what I wanted?" She has established a foundation with £30M and will donate £3M a year to activist causes. Would The Body Shop ever do an anti-ageing cream? "I don't care what The Body Shop does any more. The Body Shop is not my problem, I don't own it. I'm not The Body Shop. Stop talking to me about The Body Shop. Talk to me about my real life." Right, so, any beauty tips? "Clean like crazy and exfoliate." :: Guardian and :: British Library

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